Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
So whether it was from devotion, or fear that this was some sort of test, he ignored my request and picked up this sensational pair of marble compotes from Christopher Filley's. For me.
Well. They can't be returned, naturally, that would be so unkind to Christopher, and he is always so good to me. I just don't know how he knew just the thing. He couldn't possibly have thought I was hinting when I told him it was such a toss up when I was there - sphere or compotes. Could he? I know he didn't think I meant for him to get them just because I was fretting - once or twice - that they might be sold during the season as they are just the thing anyone with impeccable taste might fancy. Did he?
He was doubly rewarded; once under the mistletoe by me, and, earlier, by Christopher and Rich who called him "Mr. Blandings" while he stood helpless and lost in a place he can't quite understand. "Mr. Blandings." He just loves that.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
In the ambulance, the wonderful men who were helping us both kept asking him to open his eyes. But he wouldn't. So they'd press on his chest, which would make him cry out in pain, but open his eyes. I sat there wanting to tell them to stop and wanting to beg them to do it again so I could see that he was still in there. The staff at Children's Mercy Hospital is amazing, which I knew already. They have been steady and caring and direct the entire time we have been here. Through the scans and the evaluation. And the neurosurgeon. I truly hope I never need to talk to a neurosurgeon again unless it's at a cocktail party.
But he's fine. A concussion. A bone chip right over his right eye. No surgery. No bleeding. Nothing tragic. So the tears that would not stop coming last night were for all the things that did not happen. He's sore, but fine. A little grouchy today, but fine. He should definitely be home for Christmas. "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Friday, December 21, 2007
I will promise a couple of things. 1) I won't exclude images because they might be an obvious hint, and, 2) I will credit the first person who identifies the designer on line and provide an example of current work.
This story is fun as its colors lend themselves so much to the season. The layout appeared in House and Garden in December of 1987.
The homeowner (and I'm not being coy here, she wasn't identified) was having trouble describing what she wanted, "As close as I could come, was the kind of a house Myrna Loy and William Powell lived in, in a movie I couldn't name - not Mr. Blandings."
And if you are afraid I'm taking offense, I am not, as this is a very ill-informed comment. Loy and Grant were our Mr. and Mrs. Blandings. Loy and William Powell starred in four "Thin Man" movies as charming and witty detectives, whose homes were mostly very modern and sleek. Definitely worth watching. But nothing to do with this style of house.
This image should tip my hand. What do you win? The same thing my 11-year-old son gets when he does well on a test - the satisfaction of a job well-done. Begin.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
OK, amazing, I admit. But, well, I don't need a pair and would never consider splitting them up. Also, "contact dealer" on the price, which would likely mean refinancing my house and I don't think Mr. Blandings would understand.
This is close. Keith Irvine from House and Garden, Book of Style.
I was really thinking a bit more graphic and, not to be picky, but the "dots" here I think are actually pieces of mirror, which, while it's lovely, is, well, no.
I do like this one. It's not quite big enough (I do understand I'm not actually shopping, just in case you were starting to worry.) but this is what I had in mind. Brackets on either side, with maybe some of that Haytown Pottery from one of my first posts.
Sorry, I got a bit distracted, this is Charlotte Moss's entry from her book, A Passion for Detail.
Is this it? Could this be it? I just didn't remember it horizontal and I didn't remember gilding. But I can't find the darn thing so maybe I'm a nut-job anyway.
But this one at least could be taken to show the dealers or the framer. It's very close, still, a smidge more gilt than desired. (Do you feel like Barbara Streisand in "What's Up Doc? peaking from behind the plant?) Jackye Lantham's dining room from Southern Accents, Color. The walls are upholstered in linen velvet.
"Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you!" You should be so glad you can't hear me sing. Michael Smith. Naturally. This mirror. This image, forever seared into my brain.
Am I a knucklehead? Not one of the books mention the mirror. At all. Not even a passing, "flanking the mirror..." A nobody. Or perhaps it's such a common thing I should know what it is. (She doesn't even know what a ahem is. I'm never reading this again. Poser.)
If that is the case, before you click away, please do tell me if it has a name, provenance, anything. I will feel truly silly carrying around Smith's Elements of Style where ever I go. (She's the one, you know, who always has that book.)
Always an amazing resource, House of Beauty and Culture stopped by to help me out. These are Georgian and Irish. The "dots" are glass or crystal. The antiques are somewhat rare. And probably dear. I'm so grateful for our merry little band.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I have a picture of a mirror in my head. Not a non-existent mirror that I have dreamed up, although I do have a problem with that kind of thing as well. No, a real image of a mirror from one of the many design books in my office. I think.
I was sure it was from Mariette Himes Gomez's "Rooms." So, I whisked it under my arm on the way out the door this morning.
Alas, it was not there. But I noticed, as I was flipping frantically, then thumbing slowly, that Gomez has a way with mirrors and maybe that was why I thought it had to be there.
Most of the mirrors she chooses are almost works of art. While her rooms are usually crisp and subtle, her mirrors have a lot of interest.
I think she is especially strong with furniture placement, but noticed today that she has a great eye for placing mirrors and art as well.
She often uses pairs, which always seems just right. This little vignette above would be pretty easy to replicate on almost any budget. And so charming.
The chinoiserie mirror is terrific, but especially so as it is placed in this pristine environment. All that white makes it pop.
I noticed the smaller mirror on larger mirror a couple of times. The arrangement above is genius as it is reflecting the light from the window which makes the whole room sunny and warm. Also, who doesn't want a vanity mirror? Instant glamour.
So, like running into a good friend, it was fun to see Mariette again. Now I have to go home and see if I remembered something real or not. Large, oval, black with white "dots," possibly mother-of-pearl or ivory inlay? Does she sound familiar? Let me know. Wild goose chases welcome; something good is always bound to turn up.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
House and Garden, September, 2007.
I'm sending out a bit of a trend alert. I somewhat ignored all the body parts, mostly hands, that I was spying this summer because I thought they were, well, contrived. But this trend has piqued my curiosity as it's raised my eyebrow.
You see, I really like Rock Crystal. A lot. And I know it's not anything new, but it's popping up in so many lay-outs lately. I'm worried about Rock. I'm afraid he might become a cliche. Like the Coral sisters, Red and White.
One of the best parts of the substance is that it is so appealing in so many forms. Big, chunky rocks, sleek obelisks, or as utilitarian object, like the lamp below.
House Beautiful, January 2008. Design by David Mitchell.
Another thing about Rock, he can go anywhere. Dress him up and put in him silver and he is urban and urbane. Settle him into a rustic beach house or cabin and he takes on an easy-going organic air.House and Garden.
or blanc de chine,
or suzanis. He's happy to share the spotlight. He might be the George Clooney of trends.
Elle Decor, November 2007. Design by Alex Papchristidis.
I should caution you about one thing, though.
As lovely as he is, as he gains notoriety, his price will go up. Way up.
Domino, December/January 2008.
When I was in Cascade, Colorado this summer, at the foot of the hill that has been Mr. Blandings's family's vacation home for five generations, there is a little spot called The Rock Shop. No, I'm not kidding. Anyway, I've been going to this little retreat for fifteen years, give or take. Every year I say, "Let's go to the Rock Shop." And every year Mr. Blandings says, "My grandmother used to call that the Gyp Shop." Every year.
But this year, in a driving rain, I gave each boy five dollars and down the hill we went. I hate to say it, but sometimes Mr. Blandings doesn't know what is good. Baskets of beads, arrowheads, geodes. All in all, a wonderful spot. But the point is, in the back room (Where you have to be at least 10 years old to go. Still not kidding.) there are rock crystals bigger than my head for under $200. Bigger. Bigger than Frankenstein's head. All I'm saying is, if you go to Bergdorf's and buy a measly 6" rock crystal squatty obelisk for $495? Well, the elder Mrs. Blandings might have had a name for a place like that.